Friday, July 18, 2014

WHEN FRIENDSHIP ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH

I lost a friend this week. She wasn't my best friend, she wasn't a confidant, but she was a friend. She was someone I saw at work most days. We had some interesting conversations about her hobbies and my writing. She bought Avon from me, I bought Pampered chef from her. I knew her though a few failed relationships, her marriage to the love of her life, four years ago, and the process of adopting this man's granddaughter as her own daughter. I'm a sap for babies and although I don't necessarily think a woman's place is in the home, I do think most women don't find true fulfillment until they've had a chance to exercise their maternal instincts. My friend once told me that she never wanted children, and it brought a special joy to my heart to see her fall so madly in love with this little girl. Every time she stopped by with a new "mommy-baby' story, every time she posted new pictures on Facebook I saw a glow on her face that hadn't been there when I first met her.

I saw her at work on Thursday and heard that she'd been killed in an accident on Sunday. The week has been a bit surreal. When I look down the row of cubicles I expect to see her and I don't. I went to her memorial service today, and it still doesn't seem real.

Here's the thing that troubles me most about this whole ordeal. I knew her hobbies, I knew the names of her family, I can tell you the names of her past boyfriends, I knew she preferred cats over dogs, I knew her favorite color. She could probably tell you the same things about me. What I don't know, what I should have known is whether or not she was a Christian. She was a terrific person, she had a great smile, she would give a friend the shirt off her back and the last dollar in her purse, but was she saved when that car flipped last Friday night?  I don't know. I think she was...I hope she was...

You see, I'm an introvert. I'm pretty good at walking the Christian walk, I write a pretty good Christian story, but when it comes to talking the Christian talk, my mouth drys up, my hands get clammy, and my brain goes numb. So in all the conversions we had, we never talked about church, or eternal things, and this week I'm left to wonder if I missed a chance to be more than a friend to this sweet woman. 

That's a really good question I wish I had a good answer.


Friday, July 11, 2014

SECOND FRIDAY RECIPES

Welcome to Second Friday recipes for July. The second Friday of each month, one of my author friends will share one of their favorite recipes and a little about themselves and their writing.

Janet Chester Bly's
FABULOUS SUGAR-FREE FRUIT FREEZE


 Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream
3 cups Splenda
5 cups half & half
1 T. vanilla
1 package frozen berries (about 2 lbs.), thin sliced or run through blender
Directions for fruit freeze:

Combine all ingredients and pour in freezer.  Add berries toward end of cycle.  Makes about one gallon of fruit freeze.

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“A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul” (Proverbs 13:19 NIV)

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About Author Janet Chester Bly:

After her late husband, Stephen Bly, graduated from seminary and began to serve in his first church as pastor, Janet determined to discover her own God-given task.  She attended many seminars, took classes, and tried out a variety of ministry opportunities in their new church.  And then she attended the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

“I had written in journals, done well in English and Literature classes in high school and college, and composed poems and little stories, but never considered writing as a major pursuit.  Exposure at this conference to working writers and face-to-face with real editors turned my life direction completely around.”

She learned how to send her devotionals and short stories to magazine editors.

One day, as she was transcribing some of her husband’s sermons, she noted that they often included creative stories or parables.

“He had a way with words,” she says.  “I asked him if I could pull some of these samples out, edit them for publishing purposes, and send them to editors.”

“Writing’s your thing, not mine.  Just so long as it doesn’t involve me.”

Months later, he received two thin envelopes in the mail, from two different publications.  Checks and notes of acceptance were inside.  That got Stephen interested in the process himself.  He later became a Christy award-winning author of western novels.
Janet’s book, Managing Your Restless Search, grew out of her adventures in her own search to find what God wanted her to do. 
Find this book here 


For free devotionals and info on new book releases, sign up for the Almost Monthly Bly Books Newsletter: HERE

It's 1905. Two orphans flee Oregon's Tillamook Head. One of them is branded a hero. Dare they tell the truth and risk the wrath of a dangerous man? Meanwhile, ex-lawman and Arizona rancher Stuart Brannon travels to Oregon in search of a missing U.S. Marshal friend. And Lady Harriet Reed-Fletcher talks him into grappling with the unfamiliar game of golf on behalf of a celebrity tournament for charity.

Friday, July 4, 2014

GETTING TO KNOW YOU FRIDAY

I've been a book worm since I learned to read in the first grade. Books were the friends that never moved away. Books--along with a flashlight under the sheets- were the comfort in the night when I couldn't sleep. Books took me places I will probably never be able to visit.

This is the first "chapter book" I remember reading. It was published in 1966, so I'm thinking I would have been 9 or 10 when I read it. There was no blurb on Amazon, but here is a snip of a review:

This is a very interesting story about what happens when two kids' father never comes home. They live on the island of Manhattan, in a city. They are afraid of Welfare, which is going to take them, so they pretend they are going to their "godmother's" house in Brooklyn. But instead, they move into a building of which only the ground floor is used, getting in by way of the roof.

Have you read THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: CALLIE? Do the story lines sound the same? I didn't even realize the similarities until after I had a contract for the book. Several of us were sitting around talking about the first book we could remember and this one came to my mind. I'll tell you it was an OH MY GOSH moment. I am amazed at how God never wastes a single thing in our lives.

When I was 12 I found the TRIXIE BELDEN series. Books about a group of kids living out in the middle of no where. They form a club and go about solving mysteries. I had a SERIOUS crush on Jim!!

I read them, and read them, and re-read them. I even bought the entire series as a young mother in the hopes of enticing my daughters to read. That hope went up in big orange flames!


What's the first book you remember reading? Do you ever see it's influence in your life today? What were your favorite books as a young reader?